95 Millville glass workers back on job after an 11-week layoff

Ninety-five em-ployees of the Glass Group Inc. returned to work Monday after a layoff of 500 employees May 9.Most of the remaining 405 people laid off are expected to return during the week of Aug. 11 when the second furnace will be put in operation, Kenneth Rock, chairman and CEO, said Monday.

"Some of the employees may still be on layoff," Rock said. "We cannot tell how many until we work out a production schedule."

The two main plant furnaces were shut down for scheduled maintenance and for inventory adjustment, according to Rock.

"It's a relief to be back," Frances Plumine, 60, of Cedarville, said as she finished her shift at 4 p.m.

A checker, Plumine said that she has worked in the former Wheaton plant for 331/2 years.

Chester Cuff, 52, of Millville, said: "It's good to be back home. I was laid off for two months and then called back two weeks ago, and I was glad to come back."

A technician, Cuff has worked at the local factory for more than 30 years.

"I don't like to go on unemployment," said Cuff, a member of Local 219, Glass, Molders, Pottery and Allied Workers Union.

George Batcho, 55, of East Vineland, an employee for 35 years, said: "I'm old enough to get out, but my 17-year-old daughter wants to go to college."

The Glass Group Inc. purchased Alcan's Molded Glass operations at the end of September. A principal owner, Rock was president of Wheaton Glass for five years during the 1990s.

Officials of the company describe The Glass Group as the largest producer of small specialty molded glass containers in the United States.

In June, The Glass Group Inc., whose corporate headquarters is in Millville, purchased the mold equipment used by Carr Lowrey Glass Co. to produce specialty glass bottles and bottles for the cosmetic and pharmacy industry.

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